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The ninth generation of the Honda Civic was largely unloved by the automotive press. Although it very well, it quickly gained the reputation of being a little flabby, and didn’t improve much over its predecessor. Honda simply decided to rest on its laurels while the competition was quickly approaching.

However, the all-new Civic reclaimed its place at the top of the compact-car segment. After the arrival of the redesigned sedan, it’s time for the new coupe to see the light of day. Afterwards, a hatchback version will join the line-up.

Breathtaking
The coupe’s styling truly sets it apart from the sedan. To give it a different look, no less than five design studios worked collaboratively; under the supervision of Guy Melville-Brown and his team in California, the Civic coupe took shape.

Its stubby rear end distinguishes itself from the rest of the cars on the road, while its LED taillights are spread across the trunk’s width that also integrates a rear spoiler. The A pillar has been thinned and its flatter angle sharpens the car’s profile. Finally, 17-inch wheels (16 inches on the base trim) complete the car’s dynamic design.

New stuff under the hood
Mechanically, the Civic Coupe is virtually identical to the sedan. It’s built on the same platform and it uses the same suspension components—with a few tweaks in damping and stabilizer bar calibrations—as well as the same powertrains.

In the base LX grade, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine resides underhood. Its 158 horsepower are sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission or an optional CVT automatic.

In the EX-T and Touring trims, Honda has installed its first turbocharged engine sold in North America, a 1.5-litre four that develops 174 hp and 162 pound-feet of torque. For this engine, the CVT is mandatory, while the manual gearbox isn’t offered… for now. As a matter of fact, the automaker will make the manual available with the turbo engine next year. Meanwhile, the force-fed Civic Coupe gets wheel-mounted paddles, allowing the driver to “choose a gear” (actually pre-programmed gear ratios), a Canadian-market exclusivity.

Fun to drive and a promising future
The new 2016 Honda Civic Coupe should be wildly popular. It’s fun to drive, modern, attractive and benefits from the reputation of being bulletproof (with a resale value that goes with it!). It succeeds in bringing back driving pleasure at Honda, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this charming little coupe.

By: Frédérick Boucher-Gaulin